10 September

Pick a Day

10 SEPTEMBER

In Music History

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2020 Alicia Keys performs "Lift Every Voice And Sing" at the NFL season opener between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. The league has ordered the song, considered the "Black national anthem," played before every game in Week 1. The NFL cracked down on players who refused to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" after Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the song in 2016, a stance that is out of touch with the Black Lives Matter movement.

2019 John Cooper of Skillet releases the graphic novel Eden, which follows the band's adventure through a dangerous post-apocalyptic world to find a mysterious paradise.

2015 Craig David breaks his hiatus with a guest slot on BBC Radio 1Xtra during a takeover by spoof garage and grime collective Kurupt FM, made popular by the BBC mockumentary People Just Do Nothing (also featuring grime MCs Big Narstie, Stormzy and MC Vapour). The session goes viral and helps launch David's comeback alongside the rising grime scene.More

2013 Apple announces iTunes Radio, a streaming service that is essentially a competitor to Pandora, creating radio stations based on a particular song, artist or genre.More

2010 Linkin Park release their fourth studio album, A Thousand Suns, an apocalyptic-themed concept album that finds the rap-rockers exploring electronic rock on singles like "The Catalyst" and "Waiting For The End."

2010 Delta bluesman Foster "Mr. Tater" Wiley dies in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 63.

2009 Nine Inch Nails completes its Wave Goodbye Tour at Los Angeles' Wiltern Theater, with Trent Reznor declaring that the band is done performing live for "the foreseeable future." The band maintains its hiatus for roughly four years, returning on July 26, 2013, with their Twenty Thirteen Tour.

2008 Abingdon Street in Peoria, Illinois, is designated "Fogelberg Parkway" after their native son Dan Fogelberg. The street is where the events of his song "Same Old Lang Syne" took place.

2001 Jo Dee Messina releases "Bring On The Rain," which becomes an anthem of grief and resilience after the terrorist attacks the next day.

1996 Neil Peart employs some jazz-influenced traditional drum grips on Rush's 16th studio album, Test for Echo. It's the last album the band releases before the death of Peart's daughter, followed ten months later by the passing of his wife, leads the band to take a six-year recording hiatus.

1996 Blues guitarist Lee Baker (of Lee Baker & The Agitators) is murdered at age 53, along with his elderly aunt, in Memphis, Tennessee.

1984 Matthew Followill (lead guitarist for Kings Of Leon) is born Cameron Matthew Followill in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

1975 PBS airs the special The World Of John Hammond, celebrating the Columbia Records executive who signed Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen to the label. Dylan performs three songs in tribute.

1974 Randy Newman releases Good Old Boys, a concept album about a Redneck in the Deep South.

1973 The BBC, predictably, bans The Rolling Stones' single "Star Star," better known as "Starf----r."

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"Smells Like Teen Spirit" Unleashed

1991

Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is released as a single, forever changing the musical meaning of the word "Alternative."

In 1991, the music charts are dominated by the pop sounds of artists like Bryan Adams, Mariah Carey, Paula Abdul, and Michael Jackson. The hair-metal craze of the '80s is struggling to survive, and although there are plenty of punk and alternative fans hiding out in garages and dive bars, the sound has yet to really take over the mainstream. That changes in the fall of 1991. Nirvana appears as if out of nowhere, knocking the music world flat on its ass with the undefinable sound of their first single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit." It isn't straight hard rock, it isn't quite punk, it certainly isn't metal; the only label we can think to put on it is Grunge, slid into the broader "alternative" category that up until then had been occupied by the likes of The Cure, R.E.M., and The Smiths. Lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain is the antithesis of the pop star image, with his thrift store layers and bad haircut, not so much singing as groaning and screaming the nearly-unintelligible lyrics that somehow make sense to a generation bored to death with all things smooth and polished. Alternative is nothing new, but his alternative is viable, and the release of "Teen Spirit" opens the door for a music revolution.

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